letter in less than a week to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Smith urged her to pressure NOAA to comply with his subpoena for internal communications. Smith says whistleblowers have come forward with new information on the climate study’s path to publication in June. Smith told Pritzker that the whistleblowers’ allegations make it more crucial that he be provided with the scientists’ internal e-mails and communications. If NOAA does not produce the e-mails he is seeking by Friday, the chairman said, “I will be forced to consider use of compulsory process,” a threat to subpoena the commerce secretary herself. —Lisa Rein, The Washington Post, 18 November 2015House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) opened another front in his war with federal climate researchers on Wednesday, saying a groundbreaking global warming study was “rushed to publication” over the objections of numerous scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a second
The risk of the Antarctic ice sheet collapsing and flooding coasts around the world has been exaggerated, according to researchers. Previous studies had claimed that melting Antarctic ice could contribute one metre to the rising sea levels by the end of the century, flooding the homes of 150 million people and threatening dozens of coastal cities. However, a team of British and French scientists has found that the collapse in the ice sheet is likely to raise sea levels by 10cm by 2100. An increase in sea levels from the ice sheet becoming unstable is “extremely unlikely to be higher than 30cm” this century, they say, describing previous, more apocalyptic predictions, as implausible. Ben Webster, The Times, 19 November 2015
Amber Rudd on Wednesday became the first Conservative energy secretary in a quarter of a century to outline her own vision for how Britain should power itself. In doing so, she reached even further back for inspiration — to 1982, and Lord Lawson’s moves to break up the nationalised energy monopolies. She told an audience in central London: “[Lord Lawson’s approach] is the Conservative way: allowing markets to flourish . . . [with] competition keeping prices as low as possible.” For green activists, who have watched in dismay as ministers have slashed subsidies to renewables, the comparison was worrying. Lord Lawson has been at the forefront of attempts to water down action on climate change, arguing it is too expensive. —Kiran Stacey and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 19 November 2015
It was with a sense of optimism tinged with experience that I sat down to listen to BBC Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin’s first of his three part series on the climate timed to coincide with forthcoming Paris talks. I know how such programmes are put together, how interviews are solicited, conducted, edited and juxtaposed to form a narrative. I also know the subjectivity involved. At the start we get an American politician who doesn’t believe that mankind has any influence on the climate and who is also a creationist. Her inclusion concatenated climate change “sceptism” with a denial of evolution. There was no need to have her in the programme at its start except to place in the listener’s minds such an association, which was not shared by anyone else in the programme. —David Whitehouse, GWPF, 18 Nov 2015
Germany’s federal government received an urgent warning shortly before the United Nations climate conference. A group of government advisors who annually assess the progress of the Energy Transition sees Germany’s legally binding climate targets “at significant risk”. Despite the government numerous actions, these are unlikely to sufficient “in light of the dimension of the still necessary reduction in order to achieve these goals and the time remaining until 2020,” the report concludes. —Der Spiegel, 18 November 2015
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